George Miller's universally-hailed fourth installment in the Mad Max series was actually shot with the intention of someday transferring it to black & white, and it shows in the film's Blu-ray "Black & Chrome" edition. It is one of the (if not THE) biggest-budgeted films ever transferred to black & white.
The unbridled joy of Noah Baumbach's study of a New York City dancer and dreamer played by Greta Gerwig is accentuated by the choice to shoot in black & white, which harkens back to '80s-era Woody Allen (Manhattan, Stardust Memories, etc).
During what was supposed to be a vacation between shooting and post-production on 2012's The Avengers, Joss Whedon decided to assemble many of his actor friends to his own home to shoot a modern-day adaptation of the Shakespeare classic. The result? Pure magic.
A French, black & white silent movie that would go on to win the Best Picture Oscar seems highly improbably, but that's exactly what happened with The Artist. The fact that it is a love letter to Old Hollywood probably helped, as does an ace performance by Jean Dujardin as an out-of-favor silent movie star.
When Frank Darabont was adapting Stephen King's terrifying short story to the screen, he envisioned it as kind of a long episode of Rod Serling's social science fiction series The Twilight Zone. Therefore, it seemed only fitting that he should issue a black & white version on the DVD to echo the look and feel of that classic series.
To recreate the look and feel of Frank Miller's comics, directors Robert Rodriguez and Miller himself chose not just to shoot in black & white but to make it literally BLACK & WHITE (as opposed to shades of gray). The result is as striking as it was visionary for the time, even with dashes of color here and there to spice things up.
For this story of 1950's TV news journalist Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his battle against Joseph McCarthy, it made sense for director/co-star George Clooney to make it in black & white as that's how the footage looked during that era.
Although much of the Coen Brother's filmography pays tribute to the movies of classic Hollywood (Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother Where Art Thou, Hail Caesar, etc), The Man Who Wasn't There was remarkably their first film in black & white. The existential crime thriller about a quiet barber played by Billy Bob Thornton is all the better for the choice to shoot that way.
Director Tony Kaye used extensive black & white flashbacks (along with color present-day scenes) to accentuate the black & white view of the world his former neo-Nazi protagonist Derek (Edward Norton) had before he was set straight in prison.
Tim Burton couldn't possibly imagine creating a movie about the relationship between B-movie director Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) and horror movie icon Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) in color as all his memories of Lugosi were in black & white. The plan paid off with a brilliant film and an Oscar for Landau.
Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning Holocaust movie was lensed by cinematographer Janusz Kamiński in black & white to both give it a timeless feeling and to echo the documentary footage of the concentration camps that they studied for realism.
While several of Jim Jarmusch's films have been in black & white (Stranger Than Paradise, Dead Man, Coffee and Cigarettes), it was his 1986 comedy Down by Law that truly put him on the map as a filmmaker to be reckoned with. The story of two American cons (Tom Waits and John Lurie) who join up with an Italian tourist (Roberto Benigni) to break out of jail starts out stark and rather depressing, then suddenly takes on an incredible levity once Benigni comes into play.
In adapting S.E. Hinton's YA teen gang tome, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola took everything he did in his previous Hinton adaptation The Outsiders and turned it on its ear. Instead of making a straightforward story of youthful rebellion, the tale of Rusty James (Matt Dillon) and the former gang brother named The Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke) that he idolizes takes on a mythic, existential aura thanks in part to Stephen H. Burum's haunting black & white photography.
The story of Joseph Merrick (John Merrick in the film) and his journey to obtain dignity as a heavily-deformed man in 19th century London is given very sensitive treatment in David Lynch's startling biopic. The late John Hurt's heavily made-up portrayal earned him an Oscar nomination.
Though not a fan of sports at all, Martin Scorsese somehow managed to create the quintessential boxing movie. Robert De Niro transformed himself TWICE, once to play boxer Jake LaMotta in prime fighting shape, then again to play him in his bloated later years.